RICHLAND COUNTY, SC (WACH) - For a device so small, a tourniquet can do something very big. And that's saving someone??s life.
It's tool that's been around for years, but shouldn't be overlooked.
"Typically if we feel it's an arterial bleed or a bad bleed that we can't get the bleeding to stop with normal compression, like a pressure bandage or a normal pressure, we would apply a tourniquet," said Richland County deputy Dominick Pagano.
The tourniquet allows an artery to become clamped off, preventing an injured person from bleeding out.
Playing a major role during recent wars in Iraq and Afghanistan, Pagano says tourniquets have been around for years. He adds they're starting to become a growing trend in law enforcement as mass violence and shootings increase.
"All of our deputies in this department are issued one," said Pagano.
The deputy says roughly 20 percent of in the line of duty shooting deaths are preventable by the use of a tourniquet.
"That's what we're trying to minimize," said Pagano.
And they are situations you can also help minimize as tourniquets are readily available. Pagano says the small piece of device cost roughly around $20.
So far, RCSD has only had to utilize two tourniquets, saving the lives of the individuals in both cases.